The end of big days out and no more dance classes - the reality of the rising cost of living

For a single mum in Huddersfield, energy bills have gone up to £161 a month, Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports

ITV News can reveal how thousands of worried customers have "flooded" energy officials with concerns about increasing costs.

The industry’s regulator, Ofgem, is now consulting on the future of the energy price cap - with bills expected to rise by hundreds of pounds in April.

One of those who sent views to Ofgem is Dominy Hinds-Jalota, a single mum living in Huddersfield.

No more expensive days out, no more dance classes - the reality of rising gas prices

Her energy bills have already gone up to £161 a month, and she fears that could rise by another £80. She keeps the heating off as much a possible, wears wooly jumpers indoors, and says she often goes to bed at 9pm to save on heat.

She told ITV News: "I'm having to be really careful with putting the heating on, switching the lights on and off."

Despite working from home due to Covid, she doesn't want to turn the heating on during the day due to the cost.

"I sit there with big jumpers, I even put my dressing gown on... it's freezing. At night I'm taking the heating off at 8 o'clock and go to bed at 9."

The energy price cap is expected to rise in April, adding around £600 to a typical annual bill.

ITV News has seen an official analysis of almost 40,000 public submissions to Ofgem, the energy regulator.

  • 34,000 oppose proposals to change the price cap more frequently.

  • 17,000 told officials the pandemic has already made bills less affordable. 

Angus O’Brien, a campaigner at 38 Degrees (a not-for-profit political-activism organisation) said: "Members of the public have flooded Ofgem’s consultation.

"It’s no surprise tens of thousands of consumers have taken the opportunity to oppose plans which would see already spiralling energy bills rise even faster and more often".

Ofgem told ITV News: "We understand the challenges people are facing in light of the record increase in global gas prices.

"Any customer who is worried about paying their energy bill should contact their supplier to access the help that is available."